Marvel Studios What If Episode 9 is pretty much an alternate version of Avengers: Endgame with more at stake and a “strange” intervention.
Marvel Studios What If episode 9 is the perfect amalgamation of superheroes that connects the multiple storylines explored in the previous episodes in a “worthy” manner. What If is an exploration of the Marvel characters that didn’t receive much attention in the movies. And herein lays its specialty. And the last episode signs off by paying homage to all of them. Yes, even the villain too!
WATCH: BEST SCENES OF WHAT IF EPISODE 9
THE WATCHER BREAKS OATH
The Watcher’s adamant statement about how he cannot interfere in the happenings of the multiverse turns untrue when he himself is threatened by Ultron. When he finds his own life at stake, he reaches out to all those he has been following in multiple universes. Each of these characters carries the same arc that we see in the movies but, as it is with What If, arrive at another situation. With nowhere else to go, the Watcher breaks his oath which basically was the main motive behind the show.
Marvel Studios What If Manages to Pull Off What It Promised at Its Beginning
THE CHOSEN ONES OF MARVEL STUDIOS WHAT IF
From episode 1 to episode 7, the Watcher chooses Peggy Carter, Star-Lord T’Challa, Gamora, Erik Stevens AKA Killmonger, and Thor. Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange is more like a helping hand for the Watcher, thanks to Strange’s newly acquired magical abilities. “The perfect combination of skills and experience that alone will triumph.” These words of the Watcher seem to echo those of Nick Fury in The Avengers (2012), “The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if they could become something more.”
However, while Nick had doubts over whether the “people” could become “something more”, the Watcher believes that his chosen “team” will surely “triumph.” This only goes to prove the Watcher’s strength to the extent that even his choices are always right.
In Marvel Studios What If, the Watcher “recruits” his team from various situations in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He brings in Peggy when he and SHIELD agents are executing their plan to rescue hostages aboard the Lumarian Star in the Indian Ocean. We also get to see George Batroc and Peggy go hand-to-hand on each other. This scene is borrowed from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Ego the Living Planet killing Peter Quill when Star-Lord T’Challa intervenes, and saves Quill, is when the Watcher comes to take him. This killing scene seems to be borrowed from the fight between Star-Lord and Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2.
Gamora, the Watcher recruits while she and Tony are at Nidavellir, about to melt the infinity gauntlet and make use of the stones for a better purpose. This reminds us of Thor and how he took the force of a star for the forging of his new weapon, the Stormbreaker, in Avengers: Infinity War.
Killmonger, he takes from the moment in time when he is about to take over Wakanda by claiming the throne. The scene is a continuation from that last scene of episode 6 of what if where Shuri turns up in Pepper’s office. Just before both and the guards are about to break into the throne room, the Watcher takes Killmonger away. The scene where Killmonger is in front of the throne reminds us of the scene from Black Panther where Michael B. Jordan walks towards the throne with his theme playing in the background. That was really cool!
As for Thor, the Watcher “picks him up” from Las Vegan where we last saw him partying in episode 7. He was about to leave Earth when Ultron arrives to wreak havoc. Here we see Thor fighting off Ultron’s minions when the Watcher arrives.
ULTRON’S NEW VISION
The Ultron we see in Marvel Studios What If has reached new heights. He is now an “artificial intelligence elevated to a cosmic being, thanks to an enhanced synthetic body and the power of the infinity stones.” This Ultron ups the ante set by Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. This Ultron is clearly more powerful which is clearly evident in the manner in which Vision killed Thanos in episode 8. This makes one imagine what would have been the case if only Ultron had managed to transfer his consciousness to Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Perhaps the best returning character of Marvel Studios What If was Arnim Zola, that too in his encoded form. This version of Zola we first saw in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A terminal diagnosis could not save his body. But the data that was his mind was saved on 200,000 feet of data banks. In the final act, Natasha Romanoff is able to hit Ultron in his eye with an arrow that downloads Arnim into Ultron’s A.I (thanks to Barton AKA Hawkeye). And Arnim destroys Ultron. That wasn’t the end though. The final battle was between Arnim’s Vision and Killmonger for the Infinity stones. But thanks to Doctor Strange, he traps both in a pocket dimension. Thus, saving the entire multiverse of destruction.
THE POST-CREDITS OF MARVEL STUDIO WHAT IF EPISODE 9
In the post-credits scene, we get Steve Rogers! Yes, Natasha shows Peggy, after Peggy is returned to the same situation from where she was taken by the watcher, the Iron Monger, that Steve put on, in the first episode of Marvel Studios What if. Now, if What If season 2 arrives, this might just be a continuation for that. With this, let us keep our fingers crossed for the next project of MCU i.e. Eternals that releases on November 5, 2021.